Ativan Abuse And Depression

Mental health conditions like depression put people at a higher risk for abusing drugs such as Ativan. A treatment program for co-occurring disorders can help individuals overcome both depression and addiction.

Ativan, which is the brand name for the medication lorazepam, is a drug used to treat conditions like anxiety, epilepsy, and insomnia. Some people who are suffering from depression experience anxiety as well and Ativan is used to treat this. Ativan seems to work by balancing the chemicals in the brain. This can result in feelings of relief and calmness in people with anxiety.

Ativan is considered a short-acting benzodiazepine and is similar to Xanax. However, this drug is much stronger than Xanax. Because of its short-acting nature, many people will need to take more than one dose in a day. This can lead to psychological and physical dependence.

Psychological and physical dependence can result in abuse of medication and addiction. Among other side effects, depression is a common symptom of Ativan addiction. When not properly treated, depression as a result of drug addiction can grow worse.

Can Ativan Be Prescribed For Depression?

Ativan is typically not used in the treatment of depression on its own. However, people experiencing anxiety alongside depression may be prescribed Ativan.

Depression is typically treated with medications such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Examples of these medications include Prozac and Effexor. Ativan may be used in combination with other medications to treat anxiety and depression.

virtual care

Get treatment when
and how you need it.

Can Ativan Abuse Cause Depression?

Using Ativan long-term can lead to a number of side effects. Abusing Ativan only amplifies these effects. One side effect of Ativan abuse is numbed feelings that can lead to depression and other mental health conditions.

Other side effects of Ativan abuse may include:

  • trouble concentrating
  • suicidal ideations
  • reduced consciousness
  • memory impairment
  • cognitive damage
  • agitation
  • irritability
  • heightened anxiety

The more a person abuses Ativan, the more likely he or she is to experience these side effects.

Additionally, Ativan abuse can lead to physical and psychological dependence as well as tolerance to the drug. This can result in people taking more of the substance to feel its effects. Continuing to abuse Ativan only elevates dependence and tolerance and increases the risk of addiction.

Treating Ativan Addiction And Depression

Quitting Ativan cold turkey can worsen the symptoms of depression. People who are addicted to Ativan will need to slowly reduce the dosage to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Ativan withdrawal can include:

  • insomnia
  • worsened depression and anxiety
  • muscle spasms
  • memory problems

Stopping Ativan suddenly can result in dangerous or even deadly symptoms. People who are dependent on Ativan will likely need to participate in a medically monitored detox program to safely withdraw from the drug.

Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders

People with mental health conditions such as depression may be more vulnerable to addiction to drugs such as Ativan. Some people may use substances like lorazepam to cope with their depression.

Inpatient treatment programs are often the recommended treatment for co-occurring disorders. Inpatient programs provide personalized plans of recovery to address both mental health conditions and addiction.

Many people will need to continue with a program of recovery after completing a formal treatment program. This may include support groups like 12-step meetings and sober living.

Additionally, someone with depression and addiction is encouraged to continue with therapy as well as any medication for depression.

To learn more about Ativan and abuse and depression, contact our treatment specialists today.

Cambridge University Press - Depression following withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine use: a report of four cases

GoodRx - Xanax or Ativan: Which Is Better for Anxiety?

Addiction Campuses - Side Effects Of Long-Term Ativan Use And Abuse

Want to get help, but not ready to talk?

You can receive 24/7 text support right away and at your convenience. There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support to receive:

✅ Resources about addiction and recovery

✅ Info about our treatment process

"*" indicates required fields


Let Regard Healthcare walk you through the treatment process. We're here to help.
For 24/7 Treatment Help
100% Free and Confidential. Call 888-341-4325

For 24/7 Treatment Help Call:


For Immediate Treatment Help Call:
(888) 979-9592